This unusual 18th century bookstand or tray top commode, measuring 2ft 4in (71cm) wide, made a multiple-estimate £20,000 (plus 17.5 per cent buyer’s premium) at Dukes of Dorchester on July 26.

This 18th century bookstand or tray top commode sold to a London dealer at £20,000 at Dukes sale on July 26.

Made of a dense hardwood, possibly padouk, it combines elements of chinoiserie to the handles and the frieze with classic leaf carved cabriole legs with ball and claw feet characteristic of Chippendale in the 1750s.

Opinions varied as to its origin although it was possibly Anglo-Chinese. The successful bidder was a London furniture dealer in the room.